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(Ape Quartet #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  5,630 ratings  ·  1,025 reviews
The compelling tale of a girl who must save a group of bonobos--and herself--from a violent coup.

The Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good.

When one girl has to follow her mother to her sanctuary for bonobos, she's not thrilled to be there. It's her mother's passion, and she'd rather have nothing to do with it. But when revolution breaks out
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Scholastic Press (first published September 2012)
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Jolai Torres Hello,the man wanted enough money to get himself back to his family and to support him self (clothes,food,etc;). He wanted more money from Sophie.Clem…moreHello,the man wanted enough money to get himself back to his family and to support him self (clothes,food,etc;). He wanted more money from Sophie.Clement didn't want her giving her money to any old creepy guy.She didn't trust the guy especially living in such a country where "bullet holes have bullet holes" as you read on pg 1-3.Have a nice day,thank you for letting me share with you!(less)

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Maggie Stiefvater
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Five Things about Endangered:

1. This is the first five star review I've given that is five stars for how I would've viewed this book as the target audience. This book is an upper YA, and although I enjoyed it, it would've made my eyes huge with wonder and shock as a fourteen year old unaware of the history of the Congo. I'm quite pleased to imagine it making its way into the hands of teens now, though. It's one of those books that makes you look at your own culture a little differently; makes yo
Monica Edinger
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely did not want to read this book. The advance reader copy sat on my shelf for months untouched as I assumed it was yet another book offering a simplistic view of Africa, one that focused on the plight of an exotic animal while barely acknowledging the complications of the people who lived around it. Having lived in Sierra Leone for two years in the 70s, I'm techy about how the continent is represented, especially by well-intentioned outsiders who focus on its animals at the expense of ...more
This is a YA book for mature readers who don't flinch from reading about horrific violence against animals and human beings. It's about a very courageous fourteen year old girl whose mother runs a sanctuary for bonobo apes in a country in chaos where bonobos are sold on the black market and routinely slaughtered. It's an extremely powerful book and an important one.

I also very much liked the interview with author Eliot Schrefer at the back of the book. I found it very insightful. I was very int
Part adventure story. Part socially and political commentary. Wholly remarkable.
Barb Middleton
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lisa vegan
I started twiddling out reviews as a class assignment two years ago thinking it would help me remember novels when book-talking with students. Lo and behold, this reflection process has been like a boiling hotpot with questions bubbling to the surface as I bumble along. What makes children's books great versus average or what makes picture books rise to an artistic level? What began as an assignment has morphed into an enjoyable blogging journey into the world of children's literature. A common ...more
Laura McNeal
This is a great book in two important ways: 1) it's an eloquent, deeply empathetic book about being a young, vulnerable person in the midst of a violent civil war, and 2) the young, vulnerable person is given an even smaller, more vulnerable creature to protect and save. I think the second part illustrates the singular role that young people's literature can play in the world, and how it differs from regular coming-of-age novels written for adults.

To tell a story about a 14-year-old Congolese-A
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've always felt like the big issues of our world - war, politics, conservation - are best understood not in the context of great big international features in the New York Times but through the personal stories, and ENDANGERED is one of those. Set in war torn Congo, this is the story of a girl and the bonobo she saves, who ends up saving her right back. It's part survival story, part adventure, part coming-of-age tale, and all wonderful. Recommended for ages 12 and up, with the understanding th ...more
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Did you know that bonobos are great apes (not monkeys)? Did you know that Endangered is a great book (about apes)? It is. This book is awesome. Sophie and Otto's desperate journey makes for a gripping story, and the war-torn Congo provides a fascinating and gritty backdrop. And oh those bonobos! The descriptions of their behavior and interactions are fascinating and expertly woven into the narrative. Two opposable thumbs up! ...more
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must-read!! Gripping all the way through!
Joanna Marple
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Synopsis: Sophie is a spunky, honest and intelligent fourteen year-old. She is biracial, with an Italian American father and Congolese mother, who are divorced. Though in high school in the US, she spends her summers at her mother’s bonobo sanctuary just outside Kinshasa, trying to bond with her distant mother, but also sharing her mother’s passion for these endangered apes. The day of her arrival for her summer stay, she makes a poor judgment call, though out of compassion, and we find her in t ...more
14-year old Sophie is half Congolese and half American. She mostly lives in Miami with her father, but comes back to the Democratic Republic of Congo to live with her mother in the summers. Sophie’s mom runs a bonobo sanctuary. On the way to the sanctuary, Sophie insists on buying a baby bonobo from a trafficker. She only wants to save the little bonobo she calls Otto, but she doesn’t initially realize that although she has helped Otto, overall, it’s not a good idea to buy from the traffickers.

Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog

A powerful departure from a world of love triangles, high school drama, and gossip, Endangered is an addictive and emotional read about a girl named Sophie, who is visiting her mother in the Congo during her summer break. Her mother has dedicated her life to the bonobo – a chimp-like animal who is actually the human’s closest relative (we share 98.7% of the same DNA). Ironically, her mother’s dedication to keeping the bonobos safe in an enclosure
A heartwrenching novel about a fourteen-year-old American-Congolese girl and her harrowing adventure to save an endangered bonobo in the wartorn Democratic Republic of Congo. Schrefer has done a great deal of research to make this true to the circumstances and does not sugarcoat the terrible truth of the human and animal suffering that is created by greed and corruption. A riveting story that makes you care about the human characters and animals, that explains with a good story the current event ...more
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Weirdly telescoped in the last third. I'd expected the first third to take up the whole book, but it wasn't just that... things just happened very fast, without the level of detail I'd become accustomed to. But overall, enjoyed this very much. It has a very Hunger Gamesy vibe to it, for people who liked Hunger Games for the reasons I did. (Girl surviving in the woods!) ...more
Emmy Gregory
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
The problem I had with this book is that the main protagonist is a stupid impulsive brat who brings everything bad that happens to her onto herself by being a complete idiot. I couldn't get past that. The writing isn't bad, exactly, but it's not good enough to make up for this flaw with the character. I wanted to punch her. ...more
Laura Phelps
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: possiblemsba2012
I loved everything about this book. The setting was compelling, the characters (both human and primate) were exceptionally well drawn, and the storyline was absolutely riveting.
Laura Resau
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely LOVED this book!
Andrea McDonald
An outstanding book - it gripped me all the way through. I'm very much looking forward to sharing this as a read-aloud with my students - or at least excerpts of it. I'm also excited about meeting Eliot Schrefer when he comes to visit UWC in November. The hope that the wildlife of the Congo can be saved is brought to light - in stark contrast to the plight of its people and their need to survive - often at the expense of wildlife. I remember many years ago, when I was in Uganda, I went on a hike ...more
Richie Partington
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Richie’s Picks: ENDANGERED by Elliot Schrefer, Scholastic Press, November 2012, 272p., ISBN: 978-0-545-16576-1

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir, as quoted in Phillip Hoose’s MOONBIRD (2012)

“Imagine all the people living life in peace”
-- John Lennon (1971)

“The men said something in Swahili, then suddenly they were all moving toward me. I was nervous, but not really scared – I was only a hundred yards away from the sanctuary ent
Laura (booksnob)
This book is amazing. I couldn't stop turning the pages and I fell in love with the characters and the bonobos and the people in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) who help to save them. The youth I read the book with were greatly impacted by the story. ...more
Rachel Patrick
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
First and foremost, let me tell you something: this is not your typical Young Adult novel. It's different--but it's a very, very good different. It's realistic fiction, a sort of contemporary, non-fiction book. It's not a romance novel--but there is love. The love of life, the love of people, and the love of one very special bonobo.

I stumbled upon this book by chance, and thank gosh I did. I was looking at upcoming releases on Barnes and Nobles in their Teen section, and I stopped when I saw a c
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I read a book, I like to read it like I think a writer should. That means I look out for structure, pacing, character develop, word usage. I try to read critically (you wouldn’t know it from looking at my most recent reviews, because I’ve been lucky enough to only read good books). I started Endangered like that: focused. Critical.

I ended it a sobbing mess.

For all reviewers like to dissect themes and metaphor and diction, the most important part of a book, for me, is how much you invest in
Dec 04, 2012 added it
Schrefer, E. (2012). Endangered. New York: Scholastic Press. 264 pp. ISBN: 978-0-545-16576-1. (Hardcover); $17.99.

Bonobos! Who knew? Schrefer’s National Book Award nominated title features bonobos, a close relative to the chimpanzee and the Democratic Republic of Congo, a land torn by violence and corruption. While this book is fiction, it is based on the very real situation in the Congo and Schrefer’s research at the Lola Ya Bonobo sanctuary.

Sophie is Congolese and American. Her mother loves h
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I found out about this book when fellow educators had mentioned it on Twitter and then again during a conference workshop, so I could hardly wait to get my hands on it. Unfortunately, for me, it just did not live up to my expectations. I love the concept of it, and appreciate the fact that it doesn't shy away from difficult concepts as many young adult books tend to do, but the writing did not engage me. I thought that it lacked details and jumped from one event to the next without a whole lot o ...more
Anne Willkomm
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book as a promo give away at the recent Publishing Perspectives/Scholastic conference: "YA- What's Next." I began reading it on the train as I headed home and could't put it down. I wish I had known how much I was going to enjoy it because Eliot Schrefer was at the conference - I would have asked him to sign my copy!

The story begins in the Congo with Sophie - a 14-year-old American. Her parents divorced and she moved back to the states with her father, but she summers i
J L's Bibliomania
Do you ever put down a book in disgust wanting to say to the main character "I can't believe you did something so impulsive and short-sighted" but at the same time knowing that sometimes without the apparently stupid act there would be no story? Such a moment comes about 1/3 of the way through Endangered when protagonist Sophie Biyoya-Ciardulli gets off the UN van that would have gotten her out of The Democratic Republic of Congo immediately after the coup in favor of staying with the orphaned b ...more
Valerie Smith
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A heart wrenching, action packed novel
Sophie travels to the Congo, where her mother runs a sanctuary for bonobos. Along the way, she meets Otto, a baby bonobo, and instantly connects with the abused and starving creature. Her love for bonobos and the sanctuary blossoms as she becomes the adoptive mother to Otto. Then war strikes and Sophie must flee unprepared with her only friend deep into the jungle. She must not only survive, but protect Otto as well. As they trek across the Congo, surrounded
Nov 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
One issue I had was with the first person narration. I feel like I shouls have such a clearer picture of Sophie and what kind of person she is, but most of the time she came across as a typical stubborn, impulse decision making teenager. Also she was running around in the jungle in the middle of a dangerous political upheaval and the worst things that happened to her was being hungry and thirsty, a small barely breaking the skin bonobo bite, a leech and an itchy rash? It felt a little too pat to ...more
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read-recommended by a student. It seemed as if this could have been a fact-based book, but it turns out to be fiction. The story is that of a girl who visits her mom in Conga right before a war breaks out. She essentially falls in love with a bonobo and goes out of her way to protect him, while putting herself in extreme danger. I was reminded of the Poisonwood Bible and other stories of Jane Goodall & Dian Fossey. It was an exciting read-I recommend it.
Kayla Hanner
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
"I raised my head and saw the young male fully on top of me. He smelled pungent, and I could see impossibly long toes curled around my thigh, like I was a branch. I couldn't figure out whether I was being attacked until I felt fingers against my scalp and knew the answer for sure.

He was grooming me. A sign of friendship."

This book was the first book in a long time that has made me cry as hard as I did when I put this book down, and it's been quite a long while that I've had a book affect me emot
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Play Book Tag: [+ Poll Ballot Tally] Endangered / Eliot Schrefer. 5 stars 1 10 Feb 26, 2020 07:36PM  
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I write books and then, by an astounding stroke of good fortune, someone publishes them. My first two books, Glamorous Disasters and The New Kid, were for adults, and then I had a momentous lunch with author/editor David Levithan when I became a young adult author.

Since then, you can blame me for a number of titles, including The School for Dangerous Girls, The Deadly Sister, and Endangered. Two

Other books in the series

Ape Quartet (4 books)
  • Threatened (Ape Quartet #2)
  • Rescued (Ape Quartet #3)
  • Orphaned (Ape Quartet #4)

News & Interviews

These twelve books are so consistently adored, they have become regulars month after month in our data of most popular and most read books on...
114 likes · 42 comments
“... we didn't have the day-in, day-out knowledge of each other that most mothers and daughters have. It's not like she was a stranger; we had too much history for that. But at the same time, I couldn't say I knew her well. Or at least well enough to see her thoughts.” 3 likes
“You have to learn when to ignore suffering so that you're strong enough to fight it when the time is right.” 2 likes
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